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Wearable Flowers

Wearable Flowers

“Floral couture offers opportunities from over the-top creative expression to real sales – as well as a venue for creating a distinguishing niche for your busines.” 

When we think of couture, awe-inspiring creations shown at New York Fashion Week or on a Paris runway come to mind for many of us. And in our industry, “floral couture” has grown quickly as an exciting new segment for floral designers to be inspired by, experiment with and, ultimately, adapt into salable pieces for their specific marketplaces. For daydreamers, this is where the imagination can run wild. However, for event and wedding designers and retail florists, practical flowers to wear are the order of the day. This year, we give you both. First, enjoy our profiles on two incredible floral-couture designers, Julia Rose, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and Tobey Nelson, from Langley, Wash., and then feast your eyes on the more commercially viable designs from dozens of designers from across the U.S. and the world.

Design by Anika Wilson Bad Rabbit Flowers; Westbrook, Maine Photo by Katelyn Mallett Photography

Design by Anika Wilson Bad Rabbit Flowers; Westbrook, Maine Photo by Katelyn Mallett Photography

Design by Anika Wilson Bad Rabbit Flowers, Westbrook, Maine Photo by Katelyn Mallett Photography

Design by Betsy Borden Dancing Daisies Floral; Farmington, Utah Photo by Jessie & Dallin Photography

Photo by Suzanne Rothmeyer

Design by Brenda Garcia Floral Atelier; Barcelona, Spain

Design by Brianna Smith Carl Alan Creations Philadelphia, Pa. Photo by Theresa Bear

Design by Carol Jillian Jillian Design; The HIlls, Texas Photo by Jill Maasberg

Design by Carol Jillian Jillian Design The Hills, Texas Photo by Tony Redmer

Design by Claudia Kruppel Plant Presents Gympie, Queensland, Australia Photo by Photography by Bambi

Design by Coral Shortt, Epanouir Flower Studio Cape Town, South Africa Photo by Debbie Lourens Photography

Design by Coral Shortt Epanouir Flower Studio Cape Town, South Africa Photo by Mint Tea Photography

Design by Coral Shortt Epanouir Flower Studio; Cape Town, South Africa Photo by Peter Bruyns

Design by Courtney Kroymann, AIFD Designs by Courtney Kirkland, Wash. Photo by Beth Joy Photograph

Design by Tobey Nelson Tobey Nelson Events & Design; Langley, Wash. Photo by Rothmeyer Art HMU by Marqui Artistry

Design by Denise Kelly All RelEvents; Herndon, Va. Photo by Cynthia Bennett Photography

Design by Denise Kelly; All RelEvents; Herndon, Va. Photo by Cynthia Bennett Photography

Julia Rose

For creatives in the fashion world, high-end couture captures their imaginations and inspires them to dream. Floral couture infuses the same passion in many floral designers, especially those who have been privileged to experience such concepts come to life.

For botanical artist Julia Rose, owner of Flowers by Julia Rose in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, she designs floral couture for the “imagery” and “creating for the sake of creating.” For years she had been a floral teacher and then decided to do something that inspired her in a different way.

“My weddings and events fund my art,” Rose explains. “But it is my pieces that people connect with on different levels. The first piece I created was like an emotional breakdown where you pour your heart into your art. Everyone loved it. It was an addictive creation.”

Her runway, red carpet, music festival and celebrity events stir the creative juices of members of the flower world, news departments and the world of preforming arts. “I am the weirdo who attracts those in the theatrical world because of their eccentricities,” Rose shares. “My clients are creative types. My studio is like a unicorn exploded rainbows. Chaos makes me thrive, and I create for the love of creation. My customers come to me because of my brand. They are comfortable with me, and they trust me.”

Traveling to do demonstrations and teaching general floristry, Rose loves inspiring and being inspired by others. “The most important thing for me about this industry is sustainability – that we are successful into the future and evolve and inspire others,” she says. “The people who come to my workshops and demonstrations are better than me. They can design better arrangements than me. They come to me for inspiration and to evolve. Everything you do shapes you in a certain way. All my failures have made me stronger. For artists, do what you love, and people will see that; your passion will shine through.”

Design by Molly Tiesma Eastern Floral; Grand Rapids, Mich. Photo by Adam Bird Studio

Design by Małgorzata Pawłowska InFloral; Masovian, Poland Photo by Katarzyna Rutkowska

Design by Loann Burke, AIFD, AAF, PFCI Furst the Florist & Greenhouses Dayton, Ohio Photo by Jennifer Gilman Mark Garber Photography

Design by Lindsay Diminick Yellow Twist Floral Design Scarborough, Maine Photo by Rachel Buckley

Design by Laura Draghic Chic Flueriste; Ploiesti, Romania Photo by Marius Petre Photography

Designs by Julia Griffi n Willa Rose Floral; Detroit, Mich. Photo by Holden Photo

Designs by Julia Griffi n Willa Rose Floral; Detroit, Mich. Photo by Holden Photo

Design by JoAnn Marie Vaught JM Designs; Bentonville, Ark. Photo by Helen Barker Photography

Designs by Jennifer Reed Jennifer Designs Events; Mullica Hill, N.J. Photo by Delaney Dobson Photography

Designs by Jennifer Reed Jennifer Designs Events; Mullica Hill, N.J. Photo by Delaney Dobson Photography

Photo by Cloud Catcher Studio Model: Zoe Carstairs

Floral design by Julia Rose Photo by Cloud Catcher Studio Model: Lynaah

Photo by Cloud Catcher Studio Model: Jessica Cavalloro

Photo by Shannon Beauclair Photography

Photo by Angie Branch Photography Model: Gabby Ellen

Photo by Laura Nichols

Design by Diana Thompson Samantha’s Garden; Rogers, Ark. Photo by April Walsh, Freckled Fox

Photo by Suzanne Rothmeyer

Design by Victoria Ketcham Upton Grey Floral Pasadena, Calif Photo by The Dream Choice

Photo by Tennille Fink Photography Model: Amber Setema

Design by Sarah Shaff er Shaff er Creative Co.; Logan, Ohio Photo by Elizabeth Nihiser Photography

Design by Robyn Dahlson The Social Flower Fallbrook, Calif. Photo by L. Johnhell Media

Tobey Nelson

Landscape-horticultural-designer-turned-event-and-wedding-floral-designer Tobey Nelson, owner of Tobey Nelson Events & Design in Langley, Wash., stumbled over her love for floral couture. While skimming through floral magazines, she came across a headpiece by Susan McLeary. “I went, ‘Wow!’ You can put flowers on your head!” The rest, you can say, is history.

Nelson began incorporating techniques and mechanics she learned for corsage and bridal work into her passion for floral couture. “I just like it,” she says. “The thing that draws me to plants is the plant energy. Why not celebrate the beauty of people – and especially women – by putting flowers on them.”

Nelson’s love for floral headpieces has created a niche market for her with brides. “When I create, even if it is not an ideal time for a project or event, I always am left full. It gives much more than it takes from me. It is really creative rechargeable play.”

A WALK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FLORAL COUTURE
 
While large-scale or elaborate floral wearables are inspirational and aspirational, more practical, salable flowers to wear are the order of the day for most floral designers. This year, we want to inspire your creativity with designs that spark your inner floral fashion designer. These wearable florals from designers across the U.S. and around the world are beautiful and creative as well as functional and salable. We hope they inspire you to create something amazing for your clientele. Sit back and enjoy the practical side of floral couture.

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